Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 in Mexico CityCredit : Sportfot
Monday 26 March - 14h49 | Ian Clayton
Oh so close.
Scott Brash and Ursula XII in the Grand Prix at Campo MarteCredit : LGCT
If one ever needed proof that Show Jumping is a sport of millimetres and milliseconds (or less), this weekend’s CSI 5* Grand Prix at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Mexico City is a case in point. Scott Brash and 17-year-old mare Ursula XII won the marquee class in the big grass arena at the Campo Marte venue, stopping the clock at 38.65 seconds in the jump-off with a second clear round. For their victory, Brash not only pocketed the first-place prize money of €102,300 (roughly $127,000), but also qualified for the series’ Super Grand Prix next December in Prague and jumped into an early lead in the international Tour standings with an eye on a potential third series title after 2013 and 2014. Brash pulled off the triumph in Mexico on Ursula XII, also known as Princess Ursula in the stables for her calm and aristocratic manner, in what is perhaps her final top-level competition season. The mare is also known to enjoy the company of stable mates like Hello Sanctos.But among the more than 30 entries in the Grand Prix at the Mexican capital’s emblematic equestrian site, it was another superstar pair, Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, who had the victory in their hands racing to the finish, only to brush the very last pole, knocking it to the ground. The sole representatives from either Canada or the United States at the opening leg of the 2018 Tour, Lamaze and Fine Lady can be seen in the video below galloping full-out for the victory and just slightly making contact with the obstacle as spectators – on their feet anticipating a victory – look on stunned. With their four faults, the combination thus ended up fourth, behind Brash, Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Tobago in second (40.31 sec) and Italy’s Alberto Zorzi and Contanga in third (40.37 sec). Lamaze’s time: 37:52.
Credit : Torrey Pines Stable (Facebook)
Indeed, Lamaze, an Olympic gold medallist like Brash, is known as one of the fastest riders in the world, and Fine Lady has for several years been along for many whirlwind rides. The 15-year-old actually started out as a speed horse before blossoming into the current World No.12’s lead partner, alongside stable mates like Coco Bongo and Chacco Kid. Her former groom Claudia Lobe told World of Showjumping how the mare has always been skittish and quick to run away from perceived threats: “She ran away from everything she did not know, and turned around very fast – especially because of other horses and birds.” Lobe added that, “Applause and loud music was very scary for her, and when she was scared those situations could be scary for me too. But she was always lovely, honest and thankful.” Unlike her counterpart Ursula, apparently more of an indiscriminate 'foodie', Fine Lady 5 has a reputation as a picky eater and light sleeper, but is enthusiastic about certain grasses, bananas and carrots. On the flipside, she is said to have a general aversion to most music. And while her rider will have been disappointed to have this particular Longines Global Champions Tour title slip from their grasp after being so tantalizingly close, their unbridled ambition was plain to see. Video below of Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 in the Grand Prix jump-off from Longines Global Champions Tour/Torrey Pines Stable.
Sunday 25 March - 08h03
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